Recently, Julie Lee, third grade teacher at Corey Elementary, began a series of technology integrated lessons with her language arts students. In order for students to share their work with their peers and get their feedback, it was important to give students a place to publish their work- but it needed to be in a safe and protected environment.
Kidblog (www.kidblog.org) is the answer! This district-supported platform allows students to post text, images, and web widgets into posts. Then students can comment on each other's posts to provide feedback. And this is all done in a "walled garden" environment that is safe and secure- no one can view or comment on posts unless they are logged in! And the teacher can even limit posting/commenting so that the teacher must first approve everything before it appears to others.
Mrs. Lee's class is working on inferencing. They are using an iPad app (Pic Collage) to create a collage around a central theme. They will publish this for their peers in Kidblog; other students will then use their observation and inferencing skills to infer the central theme (posted as collaborative replies in Kidblog). These 8-9 year-olds are learning so many technology skills while still being focused on the language arts TEKS! You can read Mrs. Lee's own blog post about this activity here.
We applaud Mrs. Lee for giving students an awesome opportunity to create and collaborate! Want to see some student samples? Check back here soon!